Photo of Kristin Malek

Decades ago, the event management field was simply about logistics: if you have a group of 100 people, how do you complete a seating chart, order food, and display the meeting information to them?

Now, events are seen as an integral part of an organization’s marketing strategic plan and are designed for maximum effectiveness and return on investment. How can your event be designed to be customized and personalized for your attendee, while extending the brand strategy, and bring in a sense of place of the location you are hosting it at? How can your event maximize tourist dollars or foster a sense of belonging within the community? Whether planning social events (i.e., weddings, anniversaries), business events (i.e., corporate, association), or special events (i.e., concerts, sports), all have to be thought of strategically with design and risk management being top of mind.

Our event management program is integrated within the community at a local, state, regional, national, and international level. 

Some of the things our faculty and students are involved in include:

  • Extraordinary Events Podcast
    • Recently named a "must-listen" podcast for the events industry by Accelevents.
  • Nebraska Event Management Association (NEMA)
  • PCMA Student Competition
    • Every year in the fall, chosen students participate in a global student events competition designing the event of the future around a specific topic. For three years in a row, all of our submissions have been named as top four finalists.
  • Conference visits
    • Invited students have the opportunity to attend several association events to include PCMA Convening Leaders, IMEX Future Leaders Forum, and IAEE Expo.
  • Advanced Event Management
    • Through this junior and senior level class, we partner with organizations to design, plan, and execute events within the community. These change every semester and can include anything from free wedding giveaways to special events and business functions.
  • Independent studies
    • When a student would like to explore an area that is not covered in coursework, they can reach out to work with a faculty member one-on-one for credit. Past event independent studies have included event design, event strategy, social media marketing, legal and marketing concepts in the event industry, entrepreneurship, immersive marketing for events, event venue ownership, virtual and hybrid meeting design, experience design, and video storytelling.
  • Special Topics
    • When more than one student has a particular interest in a specific topic, a special topics course may be offered.  Past special topics courses have focused in event design, solving human trafficking using the power of events, and starting your own event business.
  • Graduate coursework
    • The hospitality, restaurant, and tourism management program has a specialization where students can focus on event related coursework and research.
  • First Impressions
    • Communities ask our faculty and students to secret shop their destination, their specific organizations, and their events through a structured process.
  • Rural Prosperity Nebraska extension programming
    • Placemaking
      • We help communities become places that people want to visit, live, work, and play through events and tourism. 
    • People and Attractions
      • We assist communities with events, hospitality, and tourism-related training and projects.

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